Colon cancer is the cancer in the large intestine. Usually, it results from the tissues of the colon mutating and multiplying to form cancerous polyps on the gut. Colon cancer is one of the most frequent cancers in both women and men in the USA. It’s the third most diagnosed cancer in the world. Although nearly all diagnoses occur in developing nations. this type of cancer is treatable. However, it is a risk for those who do not get regular physical check ups. This is because it can easily spread to other areas of the body if left untreated.
What Causes Colon Cancer?
In general, physicians do not know the cause of colon cancer. Most cancers develop because of the mutations of healthy cells. Cells inside the body multiply and divide during their life span. As older cells die, new ones can take their place. As soon as the multiplying cells change genetically, they invade and overtake the healthy cells and form polyps. This results in colon cancer.
Risks for Developing Colon Cancer
The risk of developing colon cancer is high in both women and men, with each having a 20% chance of developing the cancer. There are a lot of risk factors that greatly increase the odds of an individual developing colon cancer. As a person ages, he or she has an increased chance of developing colorectal cancer. Preventative screenings are recommended beginning at age 50, with colonoscopies recommended every 10 years or sigmoidoscopies every five years. Those of African American descent are also put at an elevated risk of developing this kind of cancer, as are people who suffer with ailments causing the inflammation of the intestines like Crohn’s disease or another development of ulcer-like sore on the colon.
Personal and Family History
Personal and family histories of colon and rectal cancer put individuals at a greater risk for developing colon cancer. People who have survived previous colon cancer diagnoses are considered to be at a high risk of this illness reoccurring in the future. Those individuals with a family history of colon cancer may undergo genetic testing to determine specific syndromes known to increase the risk of developing colon cancer if left untreated. Genetics also plays a role in the ability of the cancer to spread to other areas of the body. For persons with at least two instances of first-degree relatives having colon cancer, the chance that the cancer will spread considerably increases. The majority deaths which result from colon cancer are due to instances where the disease has spread.
Personal Lifestyle Choices
Personal and lifestyle choices may also have a terrific influence on the risk of developing colon cancer when compared to individuals living a healthy lifestyle. People who choose to smoke, drink alcohol, or don’t exercise regularly place themselves as a high risk for developing this kind of cancer. Other factors resulting in a greater risk of developing colon cancer include obesity and keeping a diet high in fat and low in fiber. People whose diets contain large amounts of red meat also increase their risk of developing pancreatic cancer.